Marketing – Have You Considered the Potential of e-Newsletters?

There are several benefits if you include e-Newsletters in your marketing mix. The most salient is that they’re a great way to achieve top-of-mind awareness with your customers.

Further, as a form of content marketing, they’re a favorite of B2B marketers.

Why? You can control your message and be a leader in your marketplace by cutting the through the marketing clutter with your very own advertising medium.

Businessman using laptop Free PhotoYou need to connect with prospects and customers, and continually stay in touch with them. Typically, customers don’t buy until they receive five favorable messages about a company.

Once someone buys from you, e-Newsletters are unique as a tool to build customer loyalty in that customers have to opt-in to receive them.

In effect, they’re a form of permission-based marketing, which means customers want to hear from you.

e-Newsletters give you a competitive advantage for growth because of the multiplier effect.

You can easily insert a social bookmarking service, such as the AddThis toolbar (  With the social media and e-mail forwarding buttons, you can easily go viral.

It’s a cost-effective strategy. It’s affordable compared to other advertising options.

But remember to comply with the CAN Spam Act.

Capitalize on your competition

If you’re a novice at this, research your competitors online. Pick an impressive Web site of a company in your industry that targets your ideal prospective customers, particularly a site that offers a newsletter signup.

Analyze why the newsletter is successful, and take notes for your later use – not to plagiarize or copy — but to use for ideas when you start your e-Newsletter.

Some of the big, credible companies have newsletters that include advertising. Consider buying an ad.

Note: Other than quality value propositions or benefit statements – why customers should buy from you – repetition is the key to success in marketing. Remember the “five favorable messages” principle?

And because you’re buying an ad in a newsletter from a company with a good reputation, you’re likely to gain automatic trustworthiness.

Launching your e-Newsletter

By launching your own e-Newsletter for which people sign up, you’ll start generating a list of prospects. You’ll be getting their e-mail addresses.

More on e-Newsletter benefits:

  • They’re a marketing-clutter communication tool to increase your prospects to convert into customers.
  • Your brand image is enhanced.
  • Like your big competitors, you might be able to launch an additional revenue stream by selling ads.

Keys for success

Remember the suggestion to take notes from your competitor’s newsletters? One should be quality content. Excellent content is important to build trust. For more, see: 9 Content Traits of the Best Blogs.

This means you should include insightful, well-written articles authored by you or a trusted employee. Employees are a great source of information because they deal daily with customers and are more likely to be familiar with their chief concerns.

To save time and build your image, you can also accept pieces by guest writers. Even better, articles written by loyal customers and business associates would be a great feature.

You must also make certain to have a system to manage your list. You can get a great free system via MailChimp,

Moreover, you can customize your approach with MailChimp’s designs, and get a simple analysis of your customers. You can leverage your social media, too. “With MailChimp’s Forever Free plan, you can send 12,000 emails a month to a list of up to 2,000 subscribers.

As you grow and develop a budget, MailChimp offers more features for a price. There are other vendors you can consider, such as Constant Contact,, which was the largest the last time I checked.

If you try these ideas, good luck, and give us some feedback on your experiences.

From the Coach’s Corner, more strategies:

Want to Start an E-mail Marketing Campaign? 6 Tips for Small Business — There’s a reason why many companies launch e-mail campaigns. They realize sufficient returns on their investments. So, it’s a popular topic here at The Biz Coach. I’ve written about the latest trends in e-mail marketing, and why e-mail marketing goes better with social media.

5 Free Tools to Operate, Market Your Business — Are you on a really tight budget, but need to run and market your business?  Ordinarily, I’m big on appearances – creating professional first impressions. But some free tools can suffice well.

Best Practices to Manage Your Global Brand, Web Reputation — As you no doubt know, the digital age has brought new challenges and opportunities. Best practices are critical in order to maximize your Web presence and to manage your online reputation. The key to Internet dominance is to think integration – naturally, the first steps include a quality Web site and synching it with your social media, business listings, inbound links and other elements.

The Key to Internet Dominance: Think Integration — Whether you’re a new or established business, it wasn’t that long ago that a strong Internet presence meant having a great Web site with a top ranking. Partially, that’s still true but the competitive marketplace continues to rapidly change daily, which means the No. 1 objective should be a vibrant, integrated presence.

“The aim of marketing is to know and understand the customer so well the product or service fits him and sells itself.”

-Peter Drucker


Author Terry Corbell has written innumerable online business-enhancement articles, and is a business-performance consultant and profit professional. Click here to see his management services. For a complimentary chat about your business situation or to schedule him as a speaker, consultant or author, please contact Terry.

Online Spending Continues its Fast Growth in 2012

E-commerce maintains its high growth in the U.S. – now $43 billion in Q2 2012 – an increase of 15 percent, according to a comScore report. That’s the seventh straight quarter of double-digit increases.

“While the second quarter’s 15-percent growth rate couldn’t quite match the especially high growth rate from the first quarter, it was nevertheless almost four times higher than the growth in overall consumer spending, a sign of continued strength in the e-commerce channel,” says comScore Chairman Gian Fulgoni.

“That said, although e-commerce remains strong, we are taking a cautious view of the second half of the year in light of some renewed signs of economic uncertainty and a stubbornly high unemployment rate,” he adds.

The study’s key findings:

  • The top-performing online product categories were: Digital content & subscriptions, consumer electronics, flowers, greetings & gifts, computer hardware and apparel & accessories. Each category grew at least 16 percent vs. a year ago.
  • 42 percent of e-commerce transactions included free shipping, representing a seasonal pullback from the Q4 2011 high of 52 percent.
Retail   E-Commerce (Non-Travel) Growth Rates
Excludes Auctions, Autos and Large Corporate Purchases
Total U.S. – Home & Work Locations
Source: comScore, Inc.
Quarter E-Commerce   Spending ($ Millions) Y/Y   Percent Change
Q1   2007 $27,970 17%
Q2   2007 $27,176 23%
Q3   2007 $28,441 23%
Q4   2007 $39,132 19%
Q1   2008 $31,178 11%
Q2   2008 $30,581 13%
Q3   2008 $30,274 6%
Q4   2008 $38,071 -3%
Q1   2009 $31,031 0%
Q2   2009 $30,169 -1%
Q3   2009 $29,552 -2%
Q4   2009 $39,045 3%
Q1   2010 $33,984 10%
Q2   2010 $32,942 9%
Q3   2010 $32,133 9%
Q4   2010 $43,432 11%
Q1   2011 $38,002 12%
Q2   2011 $37,501 14%
Q3   2011 $36,308 13%
Q4   2011 $49,698 14%
Q1   2012 $44,282 17%
Q2   2012 $43,153 15%

“In fact, consumer perception of the economy has recently deteriorated, with 56 percent now viewing economic conditions as poor, up from a level of 49 percent three months ago,” says Mr. Fulgoni.

“So, even as commerce increasingly shifts to the online channel, any significant future pullback in overall consumer spending could dampen the strong double-digit growth rates we’ve been experiencing for the year-to-date,” he warns.

From the Coach’s Corner, see these information links: 

“It’s much easier to double your business by doubling your conversion rate than by doubling your traffic.”

-Jeff Eisenberg



Author Terry Corbell has written innumerable online business-enhancement articles, and is a business-performance consultant and profit professional. Click here to see his management services. For a complimentary chat about your business situation or to schedule him as a speaker, consultant or author, please contact Terry. 

How Small Businesses Can Profit from Cyber Strategies

Yes, it’s become important for small businesses to capitalize on cyber strategies for profit.

Small and even regional retailers should be cognizant of three realities:

  1. Potential customers probably think that national chains have easier-to-shop Web sites.
  2. Big retailers have lower prices.
  3. Until a national Internet sales tax is passed, many consumers will prefer to shop online.

So, with all retailers depending so heavily on Q4 sales to stay in the black and record numbers of shoppers continuing to buy online each Cyber Monday, year-round cyber strategies are increasingly important.

office-620822_1280Nonetheless, a cursory search on the Internet in every sector shows many small retailers and professional service firms, especially law firms, don’t have a strong Web presence.

Many suffer from the following:

— Many have only simple landing pages

— Most don’t have social media acumen

— Even those with Web sites are difficult to navigate

— Poor SEO (search engine optimization)

By comparison, large companies have terrific e-commerce sites and display good judgment in social media.

It’s important to understand how marketing has developed in the digital age.

True, traditional media is important. But it’s vital to do something about online consumer trends. A McKinsey study indicates more than four out of five Americans use the Internet to search for information or to buy products.

The Internet has given them more control over their spending with reviews, enhanced abilities for comparison shopping and for moving from an advertiser’s monologue to a dialogue with prospective customers.

Small businesses must create a marketing strategy for a strong presence on Google, which has a 66 percent market share in the U.S. and 90 percent worldwide.

However, in my experience, strategies for optimizing your Web site’s presence on Google also work on Bing and Yahoo.

Expertise in mobile marketing is becoming increasingly valuable for small businesses. Use of smartphones by shoppers is becoming widespread. So make sure your site is compatible for mobile marketing.

Facebook pros and cons

Not to mention the impact of social media playing a role. It’s possible to make money on Facebook. There are 11 ways to do it. However, beware that Facebook can cannibalize and make losers out of small business Web sites.

Further, there are eight tools to optimize sales with social media, but beware of a red flag.

So, small businesspeople should remember that the key to Internet dominance is to think integration.

That often doesn’t include advertising with daily deal sites. They don’t work for substantial numbers of small businesses. Beware of daily deal sites and pricing principles. Daily deal sites actually cost companies money.

Meanwhile, the evolving Internet also means it’s important to take safeguards to protect your brand’s image. Poor customer reviews and public relations can kill a company.

So understand the best practices to optimize your brand and manage your Web reputation.

Success in sales depends on trust.

To build trust with Internet users, here are three key reminders:

  • Be transparent. List a description of your business including contact information, products, services, location and the names of company principals. That includes your telephone ID numbers for when you make outgoing calls, and disclosing your customer-service policies.
  • Privacy policies are necessary. If you sell online, take every security precaution, respect customer contact preferences, and don’t share customer information.
  • Develop an online media kit. An online media kit is helpful to dialogue with advertisers, clients, customers, journalists and prospects. To make it easy for Internet users to learn about your business, explain your company using the five Ws – who, what, where, when, why and how.

Depending on your sector, there are probably other principles to heed and utilize, but these are the basics for on how small businesses can capitalize on cyber strategies for profit.

From the Coach’s Corner, here are related resource links:

8 Red Flags Your Web Site is Out-of-Date (Here’s What to Do) — Just like your finances, human resources and other aspects of your business, your Web site should be continuously monitored for red flags and to be sure it’s not out-of date. Yes, it’s time-consuming and expensive, but any problems should be solved. The trick is to do right, cost-effectively.

Google’s reasoning for best Web site rankings — The world’s most popular search engine has released detailed information on how it evaluates and ranks Web sites.

Checklist: 14 strategies to rock on Google — Periodic changes in Google’s search criteria and algorithms have indeed hurt many Web sites. But it’s possible to bullet-proof your site’s prominence on Google by taking 14 precautions, which is worth your time and energy.

Why B2B Marketers Like Content Marketing – Study — B2B marketers ostensibly get a satisfying return on content marketing because that’s the preferred choice for 82 percent of respondents in a survey. “Content Marketing is now a more popular marketing tactic than search marketing, public relations, events, or print/TV/radio advertising,” wrote the study’s authors. “Twice as many marketers now implement Content Marketing as do print, TV and radio advertising.

Blogging? Simplify Your Tech Articles for a Rosy Response — In content marketing, painting the right picture with words – simplicity as in a garden of roses – yields better results. Complex, technical pieces don’t have to be monotonous. Simplicity is important if you want to reach financial decision-makers not just geeks — especially in small to medium enterprises. Here’s how.

“The aim of marketing is to know and understand the customer so well the product or service fits him and sells itself.”

-Peter F. Drucker


Author Terry Corbell has written innumerable online business-enhancement articles, and is a business-performance consultant and profit professional. Click here to see his management services. For a complimentary chat about your business situation or to schedule him as a speaker, consultant or author, please contact Terry.

Winners and Losers in Facebook’s Invasion of Google’s Turf

It was a big deal when comScore data indicated back in 2010 that cyber citizens spent more time on Facebook than the Google sites.

Cyber citizens spent an aggregate 41.1 million minutes on Facebook — 9.9 percent of their search-time. That beat the 39.8 million minutes, or 9.6 percent, on all of Google’s sites.

It was a major catalyst for Google to create Google+. It’s noteworthy because Google, of course, is the leading search engine and has Google News, Gmail and most-importantly, YouTube.

In my experience, Google+ is now a proven asset in marketing.

However, regarding Facebook, it would appear there are questions to consider:

  1. What should businesses do in marketing on Facebook?
  2. What precautions should businesses take to make certain their Web sites are not obliterated by Facebook?

To maximize the marketing investment, businesses should consider establishing a Facebook page.

But don’t count too heavily on Facebook or other social media for sales. Facebook and other social media only drive 1 percent of e-commerce sales. A study shows a strong presence on Google’s search engine will better increase your odds for income.

But for a Facebook presence, Website Magazine’s Linc Wonham published some basic tips:

    • Set goals for your Facebook page and monitor your progress
    • Make your page interesting and informative, and update it as often as you can
    • Promote your Facebook page on your business website and elsewhere; add a Find us on Facebook button wherever you can
    • Reward your Facebook Fans with discounts and special promotions
    • Create a Facebook user group that will be of interest/useful to your audience
    • Join other Facebook user groups that pertain to your industry or niche
    • Take advantage of Facebook’s tools; track your success with Facebook analytics

“Businesses can add a Facebook Place to their Facebook Page, or the two can be combined,” according to the writer. “The result of either option is getting your company’s address, map, phone number and other data in front of Facebook’s massive user network and giving them a way to share the information with friends.”

Mr. Wonham specifies the benefit:

“The result of either option is getting your company’s address, map, phone number and other data in front of Facebook’s massive user network and giving them a way to share the information with friends.”

His tips for Facebook ads:

    • Be as specific as possible with your keywords and demographic selections
    • Use compelling images, titles and copy in your ads
    • Make your ads as interactive and engaging as you can
    • Frequently update and refresh the images and copy for better results
    • Be vigilant about testing your ads and monitoring the results
    • Bid high to get your ads approved faster by Facebook
    • Start with CPC ads if you have a very small budget, otherwise CPM is the better bet
    • Use Facebook Ads Manager, which can be downloaded and installed on Firefox

Warning: You might as well know that advertising professionals are increasingly criticizing Facebook for being obnoxious (see: Facebook Draws Fire for 6 ‘Stubbornly Childish’ Behaviors).

That’s not all. There are two additional dangers to Facebook marketing:

  1. Facebook tends to supersede the importance of your Web site in the minds of cyber citizens.
  2. The most successful companies achieving success on Facebook have done it by slashing prices and offering coupons.

For more on this angle, see this article: Aside from Privacy, Security Issues — Facebook is a Threat 2 Ways.

But always remember the best mediums to drive cyber citizens to your Facebook page and Web site — broadcast advertising and strong PR — the ultimate keys to your marketing mix.

To target credit-worthy or high net-worth customers, broadcast news and authoritative business Web sites are especially your best bets.

So, harness the power of Facebook, but don’t let it make your Web site irrelevant. You want to dialogue with consumers on your own turf. Use these measures and you’ll be a winner in Facebook’s invasion of Google’s turf.

From the Coach’s Corner, consider reading: 11 Tips to Make Money on Facebook 

“The Internet is the first thing that humanity has built that humanity doesn’t understand, the largest experiment in anarchy that we have ever had.”

-Eric Schmidt


Author Terry Corbell has written innumerable online business-enhancement articles, and is a business-performance consultant and profit professional. Click here to see his management services. For a complimentary chat about your business situation or to schedule him as a speaker, consultant or author, please contact Terry.

5 Strategies to Sell More from Your Web Site

Yes, Internet sales can be challenging. To paraphrase a line from the movie, “Field of Dreams,” it’s not always true that if you build it, they will come. There are many salient elements to keep in mind.

Naturally, you need to attract visitors, convert them into customers, continually study your site’s visitors’ data, and keep fine-tuning your approach.

A call-to-action strategy only works if you’re building relationships. Understand y0ur customers. Predictive analysis is a fairly recent buzz word, it’s a science but it basically involves understanding trends and human nature, and getting more from your data.

Oh, and remember this about human nature and quality relationships: Unsolicited e-mails or spam is annoying.

ID-100249121 Stuart MilesHere are five strategies:

1. Quality referral system.

Make sure you’re easily found on the Internet and have a dominant presence.

That means a quality referral system using every facet available from Facebook to press releases and key word selection.

Participate in newsgroups and social-networking discussion groups, but use a soft sell approach and ask open-ended questions to establish a dialogue.

Don’t neglect your offline appearance. It must be synergized and consistent with what you’re saying online.

2. Conversion rates.

Have you been frustrated by lack of success in your conversion rates? Even when shoppers enter your shopping cart, are you experiencing a significant double-digit frustration rate – shoppers leaving without buying? You’re not alone.

Many consumers shop online to save money. If your visitors don’t sense you’re offering savings and unique value, they will go to other sites and do more comparison shopping. That means you need to use more effective sales jargon and be clearer about your customers are getting and paying. I would stop short of offering a lowest-price guarantee.

Eighteen percent of the population will only buy the cheapest price not matter what else you provide. They make the worst customers by wasting your time complaining and returning products. They’re never satisfied unless you will sell at the cheapest price. It’s hard for most businesses to succeed as low-price leaders. History shows most low-price leaders don’t last in the marketplace.

3. Coupons and merchandising.

Remember customers want to buy. They don’t want you sell “to them” or “at them.” They want to feel special. That means creating a happy buying environment. So exclusive deals and LTOs – limited time offers with coupons – will improve your sales potential. Consumers are turning more to the Internet for coupons than the Sunday newspaper. But again, remember the dangers in constantly selling on low-price.

Be defensive-minded. Businesses lose revenue when they offer deals to prospects but neglect offering the same deals to their current customers.

4. Trust.

Consumers will spend more money with companies they trust. Obviously, consumers are increasingly risk-averse. You must take every precaution for security and present an appearance of security.

For the majority of consumers, 82 percent, here are five motivating perceptions – what they think about your spokesperson, image of your company and site, the product utility, convenience and price.

That means you need a site that downloads quickly, is professional-looking, and functions well. And your online reputation must be excellent. Guard against unfavorable reviews and blogs.

Speed of response to e-mail queries is also important. It demonstrates efficiency.

5. Site coding.

Your site must have clean code and be well-written. It must be easy-to-maneuver and logically structured.  There are countless tips site coding on the Internet. But some of the sources do not provide the correct advice. If you’re reading this paragraph, the odds are that you are not an expert. You need to find an authoritative, credible expert to write it for you.

And keep your site fresh without abandoning your central look or theme to promote consumer familiarity and to build a foundation for long-term relationships.

From the Coach’s Corner, additional Internet resource links:

“The Internet is the Viagra of big business.”

Jack Welch


Author Terry Corbell has written innumerable online business-enhancement articles, and is a business-performance consultant and profit professional. Click here to see his management services. For a complimentary chat about your business situation or to schedule him as a speaker, consultant or author, please contact Terry.

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles at

Seattle business consultant Terry Corbell provides high-performance management services and strategies.